'20 years of monitoring and communicating evidence on drugs’ conference

Building on national efforts and formative European level activities, the EMCDDA has for the last 20 years been working to improve the monitoring of the European drug situation. A core element of this work, and an explicit priority of the Centre, has been the development of a set of key epidemiological indicators (KI) supported by expert technical working groups. Work to develop these indicators has been conducted in close cooperation with the Reitox national focal points, and a considerable share of the KI added-value remains at national level. 

This special conference of the KI expert network therefore provided a much-needed opportunity to bring together experts from all the KI working groups, EMCDDA staff members, representatives of national focal points and other experts working in key information domains. It allowed the sharing of perspectives from the different technical domains covered by the EMCDDA monitoring tasks and for experts to explore how different information sources can be brought together not only to understand better the nature of the drugs problem but also to help inform the development and evaluation of effective interventions.

Representatives of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia, attended the 20 years of monitoring and communicating evidence on drugs conference, together with the members of the EU national focal points and several experts. This special EMCDDA technical conference aimed to reflect on the lessons learned during the last 20 years of monitoring drug use and how the EMCDDA will meet the future challenges of continuing to provide Europe with a robust understanding of the extent and nature of drug use and drug problems.

Within the framework of ENPI technical cooperation project ‘Towards a gradual improvement of ENP partner countries capacity to monitor and to meet drug-related challenges’ funded by the European Commission, participation of experts from Georgia, Morocco, Moldova, Israel and Ukraine, respectively, was supported.